Exercise routine: how do I keep fit?

Hello, readers! And apologies..

Apologies for being excessively MIA, but I’ve been swamped with stuff to do. I should be able to post regularly quite soon.

Today, we’ll be talking about my exercise routine. As most of you should be aware by now, I’m not signed up to a gym. One day, I say. For the time being, I’m exercising at home. With the right equipment and the mandatory determination, you should be able to accomplish almost anything at home that you’d normally accomplish at a gym. And, hey, it saves time!

As a rule of thumb, I aim to work out five or six days a week. I have one rest / treat day on which I give my body a break and a chance to recuperate by means of pampering myself (bath, indulging in other hobbies such as reading / films / photography, catching up with friends, etc). And have an unhealthy treat. Or two! J Once a week, I only do cardio of my choice. It may be running, cycling, dancing, or walking; anything that I feel like, really. As long as my heart rate speeds up and I’m out of breath, I’m good. On the remaining days, it’s a combination of cardio and strength training that I’m after. I have an Arms day, Legs day, Butt day and Abs day. Abs and Arms days are coupled with a full on cardio session, whereas Butt and Legs days are less strenuous in this sense.

Additionally, I’ve incorporated weights and weightlifting in my training. For the longest time, similarly to many other women, I thought that cardio was the way forward with regards to a lean, toned body. Well, at first, I was convinced dieting achieved the dream body, but that’s a different ball game altogether. You can read about it here: https://cinnamonontop.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/the-first-and-dark-instalment-of-my-weight-story/. Afterwards, once ridding myself of a mind-set full of hatred for my body and the scary dedication to restricting calories, I realised that sport was the solution. Many women associate sports with cardio exercises alone, such as running, aerobics, cycling, etc.  In our brains, weights are designed for guys whose purpose is to bulk up in their upper body. Wrong. What is also wrong is the assumption that women who start ‘lifting’ will suddenly bulk up themselves and lose their ‘femininity’. This is absolutely NOT the case. Weights won’t be the cause of bulking up, unless this is what your goal is.

Weights help with toning and building muscle, for you’re putting an extra strain on the latter when you add extra weight. Do that often enough (three or four times a week preferably) and you’ll soon witness some great results. Needless to say, nothing happens overnight. In fact, initially it may seem as if you aren’t achieving anything. But persistence is key. I promise you, you’ll be able to track your progress, particularly with the assistance of progress photos. Once more, eating healthily and clean to the best of your ability is crucial as well.

Since I’ve continuously integrated weights in my exercise routine, I’ve been observing my body change. I’ve gradually been upping the weight. That is important: don’t overdo it straight away; every little helps. Shortly, you’ll find yourself capable of lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, etc. I myself am not there yet and I have more ends to attain, but I’m satisfied I’ve come this far. Not to mention that people are too fixated on the way their body looks. I’ve been trying to focus on what it can actually do. Trust me, some time ago I couldn’t lift anything, whereas now I squat with about seven kgs worth of extra weight; I train my biceps which was unheard of a while back; my core is ostensibly stronger. It’s the strength that I’m after; the better physical shape; the healthy lifestyle. Everything else will surely follow.

But this isn’t where I plateau because I’m happy and content. My goal is to squat with ten kilos by Christmas. I need to work on my back more, because it looks considerably skinny and this is a big No No. I’m also set on buying ankle weights which I can simply strap around my ankles and walk with them. On top of that, I’ll undoubtedly be incorporating them in my Leg day training, but the reality is that simple: you can always take advantage of something, however small or insignificant it may be. Walking with weights strapped to your ankles, for instance.

Finally, I’ll be sharing the type of exercises I engage in on the different days. I think this may be of interest to some of you out there. Enjoy your week and happy training!

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